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Stocks Pop Despite Nasdaq Shock

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks closed in positive territory Thursday during a session interrupted by a three-hour halt in trading on the Nasdaq due to a technical glitch.

The Nasdaq added 1.08% to 3,638.71, after trades came back online at 3:25 p.m. EDT. Apple (AAPL), the most heavily traded company on the tech-heavy index, closed trading in positive territory as it reversed losses incurred before the halt. The S&P 500 rose 0.86% to 1,656.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.44% to 14,963.74.

Major U.S. indices shrugged off the malfunction in light of strong economic data that printed overseas.

The Nasdaq put a halt to trading in all stocks and options listed on the Exchange due to technical glitches that were interfering with quote dissemination, it said. It was one of the longest shutdowns of the Nasdaq since a stray squirrel in December 1987 triggered an 82-minute power failure of the exchange.

"It happens, this obviously was [halted] for a long time," said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at Prudential Financial. Krosby said stocks closed higher due to "the package of better-than-expected global data this morning."

The energy and basic materials sectors led the broad market gains amid signs that manufacturing activity was heating up in China and Europe. Energy was rising 1.18% and basic materials was ahead by 1.7%. Within these sectors, Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF ) popped 5.8% to $22.44; Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX ) increased 3.3% to $31.35; and Peabody Energy ( BTU ) jumped 6.2% to $17.62.

Overnight the flash reading of China's HSBC manufacturing PMI surprisingly showed a recovery to above 50 in August, signaling a significant rebound in growth during the summer quarter.

Meanwhile, the Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index signaled the largest monthly increase in business activity for over two years in August, according to a flash estimate. The PMI rose for the fifth successive month to 51.7, the highest level since June 2011, and up from 50.5 in July.

The financial information services company also reported that German private sector business activity continued to rise in August, extending the current period of expansion to four months. This was highlighted by the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash Germany Composite Output Index posting 53.4 in August, up from 52.1 the previous month and above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction.

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